LA Lakers Shouldn’t Worry About Pau Gasol Refusing a Pay Cut in 2014 Free Agency

Looks like Pau Gasol has more in common with Kobe Bryant than "just" being a champion with the Los Angeles Lakers.

When recently asked about accepting a substantial pay cut to stay in LA beyond this season, Gasol replied (via Mark G. Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News):

Probably not. You have to explore your options, but I would like to continue to play for the Lakers and maybe finish my career here. But you have to see the cards on the table.

This, just three months after Bryant made a similar proclamation during an interview with Lakers Nation's Serena Winters:

Gasol, whose current contract expires next summer, also suggested that he could be locked into an extension before the upcoming campaign is through—assuming his on-court performance warrants such a commitment from the Lakers:

If I perform well, am reliable and put up a great season, then I’m sure the Lakers will have interest in extending me maybe before the season is over. We’ll see if there’s interest or not. Then we’ll go from there.

The interest in retaining Gasol over the long haul could be there for the Lakers. The four-time All-Star will be featured down low in Mike D'Antoni's offense, especially during the early portion of the season, when Kobe is expected to be sidelined while he works his way back from a torn Achilles tendon. A summer spent resting his body, refreshing his mind and clearing up the discomfort in his knees through a battery of new-age treatments should afford Gasol the physical freedom to maximize the opportunity that lay before him.

Whether the Lakers are keen to keep Pau at a yearly number similar to (or better than) the nearly $19.3 million he'll take home in 2013-14 is another story. Come July, LA could be flush with the sort of cap space that might attract another superstar who, in turn, would serve as the franchise's torch-bearer of the futu...

About the Author